February 1, 2013

Chicago Firefighters Race to Extinguish an Abandoned Warehouse

by Levin & Perconti

NBC News reports that a huge abandoned warehouse on the South side of Chicago caught fire last week during our ice storm, causing a battle between Chicago firefighters and the blazing fire. While it seems odd that a fire would start in a building encrusted in ice, during freezing cold temperatures, Chicago fire department officials said that the blaze’s origin remains unknown but that it was extremely difficult to battle and it could still rekindle, due to the sheer scale of the blaze and remainngi buried debris on fire in the building that the fire hoses are unable to reach.
The firefighters deployed a high-powered “deluge unit” in an attempt to put out the massive flames. The fire caused a five-alarm response that drew out over 200 Chicago firefighters to the scene. That is a third of the department’s entire firefighting force. Fortunately, there were no fatalities and only one firefighter sustained a minor injury during the fight.

Our Chicago injury lawyers know that despite the freezing temperatures, fire can remain a surprising threat for Chicagoans this winter. Anyone who has kept up twinkle lights or holiday décor must remember that light strings should never be left on while unattended. They can heat up and cause a fire. Additionally, all Christmas trees should be out of your house by now. If they are not, they remain a very real fire threat, as dried out Christmas trees are extremely flammable. Wreaths and natural garland are also at a high risk for fire. While our Chicago firefighters are talented, they are no match for a dried out Christmas tree which can spread fire rapidly throughout your home.

It is important to be safe about fires and to practice proper fire safety. Make sure that your fire detector is operational and has the proper batteries. Your alarm can be easily tested by pressing the reset button on the device. If working properly, you should hear a shrill beep. In addition, all Chicago homes should have a carbon monoxide detector to prevent the poisonous gas from killing while you are asleep. Finally, make sure to never keep any candles or other open flames unattended or keep electronics plugged in and leave the room. Hair curlers and straighteners are especially dangerous and should never be left unattended. We can prevent fires by acting safely and being aware that fire is a constant threat, no matter the season. According to Chicago municipal code, every dwelling unit is required to have a smoke detector. Our firm understands that tragedy can occur when building owners act negligently. Be sure that you have the proper smoke detectors that you are legally entitled to.